Hundreds of Arizona blood donors needed amid urgent shortage

Hundreds of blood donors in Arizona are needed over the July 4 weekend to help address a critical shortage of blood.

Vitalant, a nonprofit that collects blood for hospitals, said Friday that blood drives canceled because of the pandemic has continued to leave blood supplies low.

The organization said it has a two-day supply of Type O blood, the universal blood for emergencies and traumas, for 62 Arizona hospitals.

Sid Lewis, a director of donor recruitment with Vitalant, said regular blood donors go on vacation in the summer and heavy traffic on roads and highways increases the potential for accidents and the need for blood.

Vitalant is holding a blood drive July 3 at the Tempe Center for the Arts starting at 7 a.m. but said 300 of 530 appointments are still unfilled.

The organization said donors will be given a T-shirt, vouchers for a free Whataburger and a complimentary ticket to a future Coyotes game with the purchase of an additional ticket for select games during the 2021-22 season. A raffle will be held for a donated car.

Donors are asked to wear a face mask if they are not vaccinated against COVID-19.

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